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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"The one other going overseas..."

As time and tide waits for no man, the same unconditional phenomenon applies to change. Like age ripens with time and distance lengthens in journey so forth lies in front of me a new path to walk on. Taking it with a pinch of salt, I am both equally ecstatic and careful not to underestimate the challenge of pursuing a doctorate degree in a foreign land. There has been success stories and throngs of despair from many; but now I'm anxious to finally be able to tell a tale by my own experience.

Speaking about studying abroad, yesterday night we bid farewell to Imran who's undertaking the second part of his TESL bachelor's program in Sydney. Family and friends of the 26-full party of eager young students had converge to what I'd seen as a blast from the past back to the time when we first waved Afzal to UK five years ago. Yes, its been a long time since another from the family threaded international studies - last being Danny who'd left for Germany last year. It's difficult not to compare the moments that transcend last night to that of Afzal's; yesterday KLIA had seen many faces of joy and sadness. Being in the crowd, I was proud to realise that those whom I grew up with, the young generation of the family are all now aspiring adults well on-way to making a good future for themselves. As Makchik would say to me - there'd be a few less this year for Raya in Ipoh.

We hugged and said our goodbyes to Imran last night, and as he passed customs into the terminal I seeked solace in the fact that I shall have the opportunity to meet him again in Aussie when I myself leave end of this month. We wish him the very best of luck, and that these two years shall pass as smoothly and as enjoyable to him as possible.

Last Friday I took the liberty of attending Prof. Zobir's inaugural lecture in UPM. He's been a great mentor and friend during my MSc years serving under him, so it was a given for me to at least make it to his prominent last lecture. It was serendipitious that his lecture date commenced while I was neither in Melbourne nor still in UK, Alhamdulillah.

Without failing to sound too geeky - I'd say that it was an enjoyable lecture, considering its technically-stricken content. He tried to explain most principles on a layman basis, even to extend comparing his LDHs as stacks of kek lapis which I thought was both cheeky and great. All in all, I think he delivered to the satisfaction of the audiences that morning. I was rather touched that he'd spent a section of his lecture describing my, I mean, our work. We'd been able to publish recently and he was highlighting the paper, with me sinking into my seat. Towards its end, he concluded with an unorthodox but sweet acknowledgement session - filled with pictures of us and his other collaborators.

If only he'd shown more flattering pictures of myself, I'd wish.

It is these sort of things that gets me thrilled to be a researcher. To share your achievements with the public. To inspire your admiration onto young scholars, so that they can keep the torch burning for future generations and to the benefit of mankind. At the back of my head, I kept the dream of one day delivering my own inaugural speech - and that its content shall be substantial that it has its worth to its scientific field and community.

Every big journey begins with a small step, and even though time flies quickly - the good news is that you, are the pilot.


P/S : Praise to Allah, that Afzal is recovering well post chemo dose four and that this recovery is borne on the shoulders of good friends and acquaintances. We family could not thank everyone enough, and we constantly pray that all their deeds shall be rewarded fruitfully in the eyes of God Almighty.

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